The Definitive Guide to Selecting your Perfect White

Posted on October 7, 2022

While it may seem that white may be a no-brainer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably considering the many, many shades of white out there. We’ve compiled some helpful tips for your white selection journey that will keep you smiling at your choice for years to come.

Builder Grade
If you’re trying to match an existing white in your home, be sure to add Pure White to the list, especially if your home is newer. Pure White is white with one unit of black colorant per gallon. This gives it the tiniest tinge of gray which is very forgiving. By simulating the appearance of shadows, this color makes the builder’s lives easier. The color blurs many little mistakes like nail holes, drips, bumps, scrapes, etc. This is the most often used color formula for white trim paint.

sherwin williams pure white
Pure White on the test walls of Sherwin William’s Color Visualizer.

Warm White
If your home’s furnishings are gold in an undertone, consider a warm white. If you’ve got a lot of exposed wood grain, or even just want a space to feel warm and welcoming, a warmer white tone will complement your space nicely. Greek Villa has just a hint of cream and will compliment any warm-toned color palette. Additionally, this more natural white looks beautiful on siding or other exterior projects.

sherwin williams greek villa warm white
The test home in Sherwin William’s Greek Villa is our pick for the best warm white paint for the interior.

Cool White
If your home has more cool tones in its furnishings, you will definitely want a complimentary white, especially if you are decorating with driftwood or fossil gray tones. Umber or ochre will definitely look sickly in a cool-toned space so avoid whites with hints of cream hues. Instead, look for taupe or blue-grey-based whites. We recommend First Star as it’s very cool.

first star cool toned white paint
Our choice for the best cool tone white for interior walls, First Star.

Almost White Walls
Are you still worried about making your walls too white? We recommend Natural Choice as it is absolutely stunning, and leaves you leeway for decorating choices.

natural choice white house painting color
Natural Choice is our pick for nearly white home walls.

Most Popular – CertaPro Specialty White
If you have heard the recommendation, “just use factory white”, but you feel it’s not white enough? Ask for CertaPro Specialty White – an even WHITER white. It’s a trade secret formula that you have to know to ask for.

Example – black to the whitest white. Sterba

White Paint Tips and Tricks

It is CRUCIAL that you always take the time to sample your paint color in YOUR home. Don’t just use a swatch off the shelf either. You’ll want a big square of your proposed color to get the feel for how the room’s surroundings and lighting will affect the shade. And it DEFINITELY does affect the shade. For example, Eider White is one of our go-to whites. In fact, our office has painted this color! It’s cool-toned but doesn’t go baby blue. However, some filtering light through the window (for example, tons of lush greenery) can bring out a slight red pigment- making it look pink! In order to avoid a costly mistake, use a service like Samplize to get a big swatch to double check, and take a look multiple times of the day.

Another thing when choosing a white – the reflectivity, or sheen, matters too! The higher, more reflective the sheen, the darker your color will appear. Color is a matter of light reflection. More reflection, more color. Flatter sheens make the color LIGHTER. Flat is also more forgiving, helping you ignore bumps and imperfections. And of course we always recommend a washable flat.

Lastly, DO NOT USE “High Reflective White”!! If you’re looking at a color fan deck it will appear to be the whitest white possible. However, this is a base paint for Sherwin Williams, not a color, formulated to be useful in making yellows their brightest. Because “High Reflective White” in the color fan deck is a base without any pigment, it doesn’t have enough body and won’t cover well on your walls or trim. Even though it looks like the whitest, don’t use it. Again, ask us for our CertaPro Specialty White, and we’ll make your white wishes blaze!

Our owner, Sheri, loves whites and has tons of tips and tricks to make your house look bigger, brighter, and cleaner! Give us a call today or click the button below to schedule your free color consultation and estimate!

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